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Be Careful About What You Measure, You Might Just Get It

Toby Rogers
Toby Rogers
Hello fellow punks! 
Welcome to the 14 of you who have signed up for this since the last issue. It’s great to have you on board. Hopefully you’ll stick with me while I figure out what this newsletter is all about.
Here’s this week’s issue ⬇️

That's not a KPI. This is a KPI
As a product manager, you need to be able to measure the success of your product.
But how do you decide what to measure?
Typically, the answer is “it depends”.
Measuring outcomes is notoriously difficult, as the replies in this conversation on Twitter show:
Toby Rogers 🚀🤘
Don't measure your product team's effectiveness by the number of features you've shipped.

Measure it by the outcomes you've achieved instead.
Because measuring outcomes is hard, there’s always the risk of judging success based on what’s easy to measure, like features shipped or tickets closed (something I talked about in last week’s newsletter).
At best, that only gives you part of the story.
Yes, you’ll have a good idea of how well your product function is performing, but you’re unlikely to have any idea how that performance translates into impact for your customers and your business.
And, ultimately, building products that have no impact on your customers is a waste of time, however well you’re doing it.
Here we encounter the second problem with the measurement-management equation. All too often in a kind of Gresham’s law (which said bad money drives out good), the easy-to-measure drives out the hard, even when the latter is more important.
That doesn’t mean you can’t measure the success of your product, though. It just means you need to think carefully about what you should be measuring.
Instead of searching for metrics, start by thinking about the change you’ll see in your customers’ behaviour if your product or feature is successful, then work backwards to find a proxy metric you can use to evidence that change:
#4 Proxy Metrics. How to define a metric to prove or… | by Gibson Biddle | Medium
Measuring outcomes is messy and difficult, but that doesn’t mean you can shy away from doing it.
How else will you know if you’re winning the game?
What I've been reading 📚
Before you build anything, you need to know if anyone actually wants it. Here’s a great article from Andrea Saez on the importance of validating your product vision:
Should you validate your product vision? | by andrea saez | May, 2022 | Bootcamp
We all have a course we want to steer, but we’re not always the right person to tell if we’re on track. This thread from Reid Hoffman on how he founded LinkedIn shows the importance of listening to the people around you:
Reid Hoffman
Here's a story I’ve rarely told.

How I knew it was time to create LinkedIn:
Project managers get a bad rap in product management, which isn’t fair. Product managers are actually pretty useful (I should know, I’ve been one):
Do product people need project managers? | by Jason Knight | May, 2022 | Medium
What I've been writing ✍️
A lot of product management is about making sure you’re telling the right story in a way that people can engage with. Here’s a thread on storytelling principles from screenwriting that can make it easier:
Toby Rogers 🚀🤘
Storytelling is a product management superpower.

Here are 9 principles to help every product manager get better at it 🧵 ⬇️
As a product manager, you’ll never have time to get through everything on your todo list. Here’s a list of the productivity principles that have helped me stay on top of things:
Toby Rogers 🚀🤘
The best product managers are productivity blackbelts.

Here are 12 principles to help every PM get control of their to-do list 🧵 ⬇️
That’s it! 
See you next week (probably). 
The Punk PM 
P.S. Feel free to share this with anyone else you think would find it interesting.
I’m still playing around with ideas for content and format for this newsletter, so I’d love to hear your thoughts. Go ahead and shoot me an email with ways you think I can make it better.
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Toby Rogers
Toby Rogers @tobiasrogers

Product management musings from your favourite Punk PM

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